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Are your co-workers lazy?

Incompetent? Or both?
TIPS for HOLDING CO-WORKERS
ACCOUNTABLE
Identify the right problem. When
approaching your co-worker, think CPR
(Content, Pattern, Relationship). Our
natural inclination is to talk contentthe
immediate offense. But if and when your coworker continues to behave poorly, its time
to talk about the pattern of bad behavior. If
the infraction continues, talk about the longterm damage the pattern is having on your
relationship of trust and dependability.
Make it motivating. If the other person is
able to do whats been asked, but chooses
not to, start by making the invisible visible.
Talk about the natural consequences
both good and badhe or she cares
about. What are the effects of his or her
behavior on other employees, customers,
shareowners, etc.?
Make it easy. If you find out the problem is
not due to motivation, then its likely due to
an ability barrier. Maybe your expectations
arent realistic. Maybe you didnt provide
him or her with the right tools. Maybe he or
she is constrained because of bureaucracy.
Whatever the constraints, discover them
and make changes. The goal is to make it
as easy as possible for your co-worker to
meet the expectation.

ABOUT THE RESEARCH.


The study collected responses via an online
survey from 1,225 individuals in May of 2013.
Margin of error is approximately 3%.

LEARN NEW SKILLS.


To learn how Crucial Accountability can
help you hold co-workers accountable, visit
www.vitalsmarts.com or call 1.800.449.5989.

V I TA L S M A R T S R E S E A R C H

3 in 4 employees quickly attribute their


co-workers bad behavior to lack of motivation while
only 1 in 10 consider ability deficits. As a result, they avoid holding

According to our research,

problem colleagues accountable, engage in costly workarounds and perpetuate the very
problems they detest.
Our study of 1,225 people found
that this misdiagnosis and resulting
lack of accountability has caused
major fallout in the workplace as
those who assume their co-worker
is unmotivated rather than unable
to change are half as likely to speak
up and share their full concerns.
As a result, one in three employees
suffer the effects of their co-workers
bad behavior for more than five
years and three in four report that
unaccountable co-workers create
severe problems for them, their
customers or the organization.

KEY RESULTS
Those who assume their co-worker is
unmotivated rather than unable to change are

as likely

to speak up and

share their full concerns

94%

fail to effectively hold their


co-workers accountable

1in 3

employees suffer the effects


of their co-workers bad behavior for more
than five years

3 in 4

The biggest problem isnt necessarily


report that unaccountable
the problem behavior itself, but rather
co-workers create severe problems for them,
how our misdiagnosis affects our
their customers or the organization
response. Those who think more
generously and carefully about the
cause for others misbehavior are far
more likely to speak up and explore
potential motivation and ability barriers to their co-workers performance and report success in
resolving the issue.
About VitalSmartsAn innovator in corporate training and leadership development, VitalSmarts
combines three decades of original research with 50 years of the best social science to help leaders
and organizations change human behavior and achieve new levels of performance. VitalSmarts has
identified four high-leverage skill sets that, when used in combination, create healthy corporate
cultures. These skills are taught in the Companys award-winning training programs and New York
Times best-selling books of the same titles: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer,
and Change Anything. VitalSmarts has consulted with more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies
and trained more than one million people worldwide. www.vitalsmarts.com